Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, with support from the Seattle Office for Civil Rights and 4Culture,
cordially invite you to

Artistic Freedom & Artistic Responsibility
Monday, Aug. 18, 2014
6:30–8:30 p.m.
Bagley Wright Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre

Art plays a vital role in our society and can be a catalyst for dialogue and change. As the demographics of our country become more diverse, how do artists and arts groups approach new and historical work in a way that is meaningful, relevant and equitable? In response to the spirited conversation happening in Seattle and the wider arts community, this curated forum will address issues of art, race, and cultural representation by featuring a diverse group of facilitators/respondents, including:

  • Braden Abraham, Artistic Director – Seattle Repertory Theatre
  • Royal Alley-Barnes, Executive Director – Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
  • Valerie Curtis-Newton, Artistic Director – The Hansberry Project
  • Jeffrey Herrmann, Managing Director – Seattle Repertory Theatre
  • Kathy Hsieh, Theatre Artist & Co-Executive Producer – SIS Productions
  • Annie Lareau, Actor/Director/Teaching Artist
  • Fern Renville, Managing Director – Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre

Further information, including moderators and panelists, will be shared at a later date. We invite attendees to RSVP.

Follow #seattleAFAR on Facebook or Twitter to take part in the conversation before, during and after the event.
Living outside of Seattle or can’t make this date? This event will be livestreamed on www.howlround.tv.
By attending this event, you are giving the event’s organizers permission to broadcast your likeness on the internet.

This event is made possible through the generous contributions of:
Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and Seattle Repertory Theatre

With additional support from:
4Culture, KUOW and Seattle Office for Civil Rights

A Clarification and an Invitation
in regards to
the production of The Mikado
by the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society
appearing on the Bagley Wright Stage
at Seattle Repertory Theatre

We have received many emails and tweets in follow up to Sharon Pian Chan's opinion piece in the Seattle Times on Sunday, July 13th, in which she castigates the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society for staging The Mikado in our building in a racially insensitive way. A few points of clarification:

  1. The Mikado is a production of The Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, not Seattle Repertory Theatre. We have no association with the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society and no influence over their programming or artistic decisions.
  2. As a part of our lease agreement with the Seattle Center and thereby the City of Seattle, we are required to open up time and space in the Bagley Wright Theatre every summer for the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society. We have no say with regards to their annual tenancy.

Seattle Rep remains committed to presenting work that accurately depicts and reflects the many diverse and unique voices of our local community. Because The Mikado is being presented on the same stage where Seattle Rep's own productions happen to appear, we believe this provides an opportunity for Seattle Rep to exert some leadership within the Seattle cultural community on this important issue. All of which led to our collaboration with the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights and 4Culture in developing a public forum.

To that end, we will be hosting an open community conversation in early August regarding The Mikado and, more broadly, issues of race, art, and cultural representation. We are currently working on a date, a moderator, and panelists and will have specific information available very shortly.

In the meantime, please contact feedback at seattlerep.org with any questions or for more information. We look forward to seeing you there.

  • Braden Abraham
    Artistic Director
  • Jeffrey Herrmann
    Managing Director